The emotional impact of paediatric COVID-19 on parents of the affected children: qualitative study

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The study provides a more in-depth understanding of the emotional impact of paediatric COVID-19 on parents whose children were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 positive. The emotional domain is a critical part of parental and family health-related quality of life. This was descriptive qualitative research. The participants (n = 20) enrolled in this research were parents or legal guardians as primary caregivers of children (aged below 19) who have been diagnosed with a laboratory-confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection and living in Latvia. A semi-structured interview method was used to obtain qualitative data. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed manually using inductive thematic analysis. Six themes emerged: 1. Parents' first reactions to their child’s diagnosis (varied from fright, surprise, confusion, disbelief to more calm reactions). 2. Uncertainty related to COVID-19’s novelty (not knowing the course of the disease led to distress). 3. Emotions associated with child’s health (despair, helplessness (when child's temperature raised rapidly); panic (when the child needed hospitalization due to severe symptoms); insecurity (because of the absence of specific treatments); fault (for not protecting the child); anger (on those people who infected a child); relief (when the child’s symptoms eased) etc.). 4. “Fact, as a fact” (several parents accepted this situation more pragmatically). 5. “There was something positive about it” (love, trust, optimism, compassion, gratitude, closeness, togetherness was experienced). 6. Other factors influencing emotional impact on parents (psychological fatigue, feeling of imprisonment, and intolerance because of family lockdown etc.). Caring for a child with a COVID-19 can be emotionally challenging for their primary caregivers. Paediatric COVID-19 provoked vivid emotional reactions to parents. A myriad of factors influencing the emotional impact on parents was identified.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
EventRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Conference number: 8


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Society. Health. Welfare
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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